kill

Kill a process by specifying its PID, either via a signal or forced termination.

Syntax
     kill [-s signal_name] pid ...
     kill -signal_name pid ...
     kill -signal_number pid ...
     kill -l [exit_status]

Key
   -s signal_name
	     A symbolic signal name specifying the signal to be sent instead
	     of the default TERM.

   -signal_name
	     A symbolic signal name specifying the signal to be sent instead
	     of the default TERM.

   -signal_number
	     A non-negative decimal integer, specifying the signal to be sent
	     instead of the default TERM.

   -l [exit_status]
	     If no operand is given, list the signal names; otherwise, write
	     the signal name corresponding to exit_status.

   The following pids have special meanings:
   -1 If superuser, broadcast the signal to all processes; otherwise
	     broadcast to all processes belonging to the user.

Some shells provide a builtin kill command which is similar or identical to this utility.

The kill utility sends a signal to the processes specified by the pid operand(s). Only the super-user can send signals to other users' processes.

Common Kill Signals
Signal name Signal value Effect
SIGHUP 1 Hangup
SIGINT 2 Interrupt from keyboard
SIGQUIT 3 Quit
SIGABRT 6 Abort
SIGKILL 9 Kill signal
SIGTERM 15 Termination signal - allow an orderly shutdown
SIGSTOP 17,19,23 Stop the process

Examples

List the running process
$ ps
PID TTY TIME CMD
1293 pts/5 00:00:00 MyProgram


Then kill it
$ kill 1293
[2]+ Terminated MyProgram


Or to really really kill it
$ kill -9 1293

To close an application you can also send an applescript quit command:
$ osascript -e 'quit app "safari.app"'

"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish it's source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals.
It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings" ~ Anais Nin

Related:

kill man page - Apple.com
ctrl+z / ctrl+c - Suspend/Interrupt a program
ps - List running processes (returns PID)
pkill - Kill processes by a full or partial name.
killall - Kill processes by name.
sigaction(2) -
lsof - List open files


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